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Made possible through donations to the AOPA Foundation, scholarship awards are part of the You Can Fly program, a series of targeted initiatives designed to make flying more affordable, accessible, and fun. Scholarships are a major benefit of AOPA membership, helping members reach their aviation goals.

The AOPA Foundation’s You Can Fly Scholarships are available in four categories:

  • High School Flight Training Scholarship
  • Teacher Flight Training Scholarship
  • Primary Flight Training Scholarship
  • Advanced Rating Scholarship

The High School Flight Training Scholarship, Teacher Flight Training Scholarship, and Primary Flight Training Scholarship provide funds for winners to apply toward training for their private, sport, or recreational pilot certificate. The Advanced Rating Scholarship provides funds for instrument rating; commercial pilot certificate; and flight instructor, instrument instructor, and multiengine instructor certificates.

There are certain criteria that must be met to qualify for You Can Fly Scholarships. Those requirements will differ for each specific scholarship, but the three basic requirements to be awarded a scholarship are:

  • Must be an AOPA member - both at the time of application and when the scholarship is awarded
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident 
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Must have passed the FAA Knowledge Exam prior to submitting an application

Earlier this year, 124 scholarships were awarded totaling more than $1.1 million. The Ray Foundation, established by late aviator, philanthropist, and entrepreneur James C. Ray, generously provides $1 million for the High School and Teacher scholarships. Through donations from other dedicated individuals and organizations, more than $86,000 was earmarked for Primary Flight Training Scholarships and more than $25,000 for five Advanced Flight Training Scholarships.

2021’s scholarship winners included a diverse group of pilots and future pilots, ranging in age from 15 to 62. More than 40 percent of the recipients are women, and more than 20 percent are people of color.

The 2022 You Can Fly Scholarships will open November 1, 2021 and close February 11, 2022. More details will be provided at a later date. Be sure to bookmark this page.